Maryland is in the same pension pickle as three-fifths of the other states, with its management of its long-term retirement obligations causing “serious concern” to the authors of a new study by the Pew Center on the States.
“States continue to lose ground,” said David Draine, one of the
authors of “The Widening Gap,” which showed states had a $1.38 trillion
gap between assets and pension obligations, up from $1 trillion, which
the first Pew report found two years ago. In that time, Maryland’s
unfunded pension liabilities have risen to $19 billion from $11 billion,
and now its assets would pay only 65 percent of its promises to retired
state employees, down from 78 percent in 2008.
Like 43 states facing similar problems, Maryland made substantial
changes in its pension system last year, increasing contributions from
employees, reducing cost-of-living increases and tightening benefits.
These changes are supposed to bring the retirement system up to 80
percent funding in nine years.